Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

3 Shevat 5759 - Jan. 20, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







After Identification by the Zaka Unit
Doniel Blaustein z'l is Laid to Rest as a Meis Mitzvah

by Betzalel Kahn

The body of the chareidi young man discovered over ten days ago in the Amud River near Tsefas, was finally identified conclusively this past Sunday after an intricate and successful effort conducted by the Zaka unit for the identification of accident victims in Jerusalem. (Zaka stands for Zihui Korbanos Ason.) The young man had apparently fallen off a cliff. Hikers in the area who discovered the body called the police, and a local rescue squad tried to save him, but could only recover the body which doctors later said had probably lain there for about 48 hours.

The name of the young man is Doniel Blaustein, a 26 year old native of Brazil, whose father passed away a number of years ago, and whose mother could not be reached. Late Sunday night, the levaya of the meis mitzva, who had no relatives present for the funeral, left the Sanhedria burial parlor and headed toward Har Hamenuchos, where he was buried. Many responded to the call to accompany him on his last earthly journey.

Last week, the Zaka unit posted announcements all over the country with the description of the young man whose body had been found in the Amud River. The center was flooded by calls from hundreds of worried people who feared that the victim was a family member. This concern was sparked by the fact that many young people leave their homes for long periods of time and do not contact their families.

One of the callers informed the police that a certain chareidi young man rented two apartments, one in Jerusalem and the other in Tsefas, and the possibility that he was the victim was raised. The members of the Zaka unit went to the young man's apartment in the Beis Yisroel neighborhood of Jerusalem last Friday, broke inside, and began to conduct various searches. They took samples of hair from his pillow. The samples were sent to the Institute for Medical Jurisprudence in Abu-Kabir, and the laboratory examination proved that they were indeed the hairs of the victim.

A bill which Blaustein had received from a dentist ten years ago was found in one of the closets. The Zaka volunteers tried to locate the dentist, at first without success. Sunday morning, they turned to the Dentist's Organization of Israel which helped them find the dentist, who told them that he hasn't worked in the field for many years.

The dentist said that he couldn't remember patients whom he had treated ten years ago, but that x-rays of his patients' teeth might still remain in his files. After a brief search, the file of the young man was found, and the impressions of his teeth were sent to Abu-Kabir. It was only this evidence that proved beyond a doubt that the victim was Doniel Blaustein, and he was finally brought to rest in Har Hamenuchos.


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